- NAHCON to have dedicated airline for tour operators
SEVEN airlines, including five Nigerian carriers and two Saudi Airlines, have indicated interest in participating in the 2020 airlift of Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia at the bid opening conducted by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).
The airlines which participated in yesterday’s bidding process which opened in Abuja include Nigerian carriers Arik Air, Med-View Airline, Max Air, Azman Air and Sky Power and Saudi Airlines: FlyNas and Sky Prime.
At the opening of bidding, airlines proposed air fare for each of the passengers ranging from $1400 to $1900 while some of them slashed the fare at the venue with the fare proposed by airline for the South slightly higher than the one for the pilgrims from the Northern part of the country because of the closeness to Saudi Arabia..
Azman Air had initially quoted $1,800 for North and $1,850 for South but reviewed to $1,600 and $1,650 for North and South Respectively who proposed they have three aircraft dedicated for the service. Saudi Carrier FlyNas quoted $1,750 for South and $1,700 for the North stating that they will operate with two Boeing 747, two Airbus A330 and an additional back up aircraft.
Arik Air reviewed its initial proposal of $1,800 and $1,900 for North and South Zones to $1,700 and $1,800; Max Air bid at $1,700 for the Northern Zone and $1,750 for the South stating they will use five aircraft of which four are Boeing 747.
Med-view Airline quoted its proposal at $1,600 for the North and $1,700 for the south stating that it has two Boeing 777s for the operations one owned by the airline and the other leased.
Also because of the incidents of failure to airlift pilgrims as at when due, which marred last year’s hajj, NAHCON decided to have dedicated airlines for licensed tour operators of which Westlink Air Services and Azman Air applied. Also Westlink which applied for International Pilgrim quoted a flat rate of $1800
Four companies applied for the air freight of excess luggage. They are; Cargo Zeal; Esteem Cargo and Tour, Sopodake Global Marine Services and NAHCO
Screening process is set to begin as the bid is done; this is where the data provided by the intending carriers would be verified. “Besides, the airlines would also sit down with our team to negotiate while the qualified carriers would be shortlisted. The commission will now forward the shortlisted airlines to the President for approval,” an official added.
The bid was also attended by representatives of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).